Back to Smartphones
Home > Smartphones > Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
High-End

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G Camera review: Excellent performance outdoors

Reading Time: 15 min read
102
camera

The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G is a high-end smartphone that sits just behind the A72 5G in the South Korean manufacturer’s more affordable A-series lineup. It features an FHD+ 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display and a 4500 mAh battery with 25W super-fast charging. The Android OS is powered by an octa-core processor with 6GB RAM, and there’s 128 GB of internal storage that’s expandable to 1 TB via Micro SD. The handset is also IP67 rated for water and dust resistance.

For photography, the device features a quad rear camera including a 64 MP primary module and a 12 MP ultra-wide. A 5 MP macro and 5 MP depth sensor for bokeh simulation complete the shooting options. Let’s see how the device performs in our DXOMARK Camera tests.

Key camera specifications:

  • Primary: 64 MP, 81° field of view, f/1.8-aperture lens, OIS
  • Ultra-wide: 12 MP, 123° field of view, f/2.2-aperture lens
  • Macro: 5 MP, f/2.4-aperture lens
  • Depth: 5 MP, f/2.4-aperture lens
  • Video: 2160p/30 fps

About DXOMARK Camera tests: For scoring and analysis in our smartphone camera reviews, DXOMARK engineers capture and evaluate over 3000 test images and more than 2.5 hours of video both in controlled lab environments and in natural indoor and outdoor scenes, using the camera’s default settings. This article is designed to highlight the most important results of our testing. For more information about the DXOMARK Camera test protocol, click here. More details on how we score smartphone cameras are available here.

Test summary


Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
102
camera
107
photo
56
zoom
90
video

Pros

  • Accurate target exposure in evenly lit photos and videos
  • Vivid color in indoor and outdoor photos
  • Good representation of detail and noise in preview
  • High detail in outdoor photos
  • Accurate depth estimation and pleasant effect in bokeh photos
  • Well-controlled noise in outdoor and indoor videos
  • Accurate white balance and color rendering in outdoor videos

Cons

  • High noise in low-light photos
  • Exposure instabilities in videos
  • Autofocus failures and instabilities in photos and videos
  • Low exposure in flash-off photos
  • Low detail and high noise in zoom photos
  • Underexposed night portraits
  • Stabilization errors in walking videos

Achieving an overall score of 102, the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G displays a notable improvement in image quality compared to its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy A51 5G (87 points). That’s a comparable result to similarly-spec’d devices such as the Apple iPhone SE at 103 and the Oppo Find X2 Neo at 105, but the Samsung device lags a little behind the more performance- vs price-oriented OnePlus Nord at 108.

The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G delivers bright images with pleasant color and a good level of detail.

The A52 5G boasts excellent performance outdoors, where sharp, bright and colorful images helped it on its way to a Photo score of 107. Weaknesses are more evident indoors or under low-light conditions, however, where lower detail, color casts, and focusing issues can undermine the user experience.

The device’s combined Zoom score of 56 doesn’t set the world on fire either, but it’s a solid result for a device lacking a tele-lens. The ultra-wide camera is a nice asset, boasting one of the widest fields of view available in this price bracket, with wide images holding on to more detail than we saw on the A51 5G.

Its Video score of 90 is a little behind the iPhone SE at 105, the Oppo Find X2 Neo at 97, and OnePlus Nord at 92. Again, outdoors is where you’ll get the most out of the Samsung A52 5G’s video, with bright-light movies displaying nice target exposure and color rendering. Video dynamic range is limited, though, and in lower light some color instabilities and focusing issues are evident.

In summary, if you’re after a more price-conscious handset from the Samsung brand, you can be assured of some high-quality photos and videos when shooting outdoors with the A52 5G.

Below you can find a detailed analysis and image samples for all Photo, Zoom, and Video sub-attributes, as well as a comparison with one of the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G’s competitors, the Nokia 8.3 5G, as well as with its predecessor, the A51 5G.

Photo

The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G achieves a Photo score of 107. In this section, we take a closer look at each sub-attribute and compare image quality against competitors.

Exposure and Contrast

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

88

109

Huawei Mate 40 Pro+
Best: Huawei Mate 40 Pro+ (109)

In these tests we analyze target exposure, contrast, and dynamic range, including repeatability across a series of images. Tests are undertaken in a wide range of light conditions, including backlit scenes and low light down to 1 lux. The score is derived from a number of objective measurements in the lab and perceptual analysis of real-life images.

These samples show the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G’s exposure performance in an outdoor scene compared to the competition.

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, accurate target exposure with wide dynamic range
Samsung Galaxy A51 5G, accurate target exposure with slight highlight clipping
Nokia 8.3 5G, low target exposure with slight highlight clipping

Color

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

93

105

Huawei Mate 40 Pro+
Best: Huawei Mate 40 Pro+ (105)

In these tests we analyze color rendering, skin tones, white balance, and color shading, including repeatability across a series of images. The score is derived from a number of objective measurements in the lab and perceptual analysis of real-life images.

These samples show the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G’s color performance under indoor light compared to the competition.

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, neutral white balance with washed-out color
Samsung Galaxy A51 5G, slightly cold white balance with bolder saturation
Nokia 8.3 5G, greenish white balance cast with strong color saturation

Autofocus

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

81

109

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Best: Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (109)

In these tests we analyze autofocus accuracy and shooting time, including repeatability, in the lab. We test focus failures, depth of field, and tracking of moving subjects using perceptual analysis of real-life images.

This graph shows the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G’s autofocus performance in the lab at a light level of 1000 lux and a simulated dynamic range of 7 EV.

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, irregular focusing speeds and accuracy in challenging light

Texture

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

85

111

Xiaomi Mi 11
Best: Xiaomi Mi 11 (111)

In these tests we analyze texture on faces and objects, including objects in motion, in a range of light conditions, using several lab test setups and perceptual analysis of real-life images.

These samples show the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G’s texture performance in outdoor lighting compared to the competition.

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, outdoor scene
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, crop: fine details preserved
Samsung Galaxy A51 5G, outdoor scene
Samsung Galaxy A51 5G, crop: fine details lost
Nokia 8.3 5G, outdoor scene
Nokia 8.3 5G, crop: fine details lost

Noise

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

55

99

Huawei P40 Pro
Best: Huawei P40 Pro (99)

In these tests we analyze noise on faces and objects, including objects in motion, in a range of light conditions, using several lab test setups and perceptual analysis of real-life images.

These samples show the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G’s noise performance in low light compared to the competition.

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, low-light scene
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, crop: visible luminance noise
Samsung Galaxy A51 5G, low-light scene
Samsung Galaxy A51 5G, crop: visible luminance noise
Nokia 8.3 5G, low-light scene
Nokia 8.3 5G, crop: less visible luminance noise

Bokeh

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

60

75

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Best: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra (75)

For these tests we switch to the camera’s bokeh or portrait mode and analyze depth estimation, bokeh shape, blur gradient, and repeatability, as well as all other general image quality attributes mentioned above. The score is derived from perceptual analysis of real-life images.

These samples show the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G’s bokeh simulation in outdoor conditions compared to the competition.

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, visible perspective deformations
Samsung Galaxy A51 5G, minor edge artifacts visible
Nokia 8.3 5G, evident subject segmentation errors

Night

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

21

82

Huawei Mate 40 Pro+
Best: Huawei Mate 40 Pro+ (82)

In these tests we shoot a selection of images in pitch-black darkness as well as with city lights in the background providing some illumination. We shoot sample images with the camera at default settings in both flash-auto and flash-off modes. We analyze all image quality attributes, but we pay particular attention to exposure, autofocus, and color. We do not test night modes that have to be activated manually.

These samples show the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G’s night performance in flash-off mode compared to the competition.

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, underexposed target, acceptable dynamic range
Samsung Galaxy A51 5G, totally underexposed subject, well-preserved highlight detail
Nokia 8.3 5G, very underexposed subject, well-preserved highlight detail

Artifacts

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

63

75

Google Pixel 4
Best: Google Pixel 4 (75)

In these tests we check images for optical artifacts such as vignetting, flare, lens softness in the corner, distortion, and chromatic aberrations, as well as for processing artifacts such as ghosting and fusion errors, hue shift, and ringing.

This sample shows artifacts including ringing and over-sharpening of fine details.

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, artifacts
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, crop: ringing and over-sharpening

 

Preview

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

59

77

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Best: Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (77)

In these tests we analyze the image quality of the preview image and the differences between preview images and captured images, particularly in terms of exposure, dynamic range, and bokeh effect. We also check the smoothness of the field-of-view changes in the preview image when zooming with both buttons or when using the pinch-zoom gesture.

These samples show the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G’s preview performance for a high-contrast scene.

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, preview image
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, final image: better shadow and highlight rendering compared to preview

Zoom

The Zoom score includes the tele and wide sub-scores. In this section, we take a closer look at how these sub-scores were achieved and compare zoom image quality against competitors.

The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G achieves a Zoom score of 56.

Wide

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

43

54

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Best: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra (54)

In these tests we analyze the performance of the ultra-wide camera at several focal lengths from 12 to 20 mm. We look at all image quality attributes, but we pay particular attention to such artifacts as chromatic aberrations, lens softness, and distortion.

These samples show the performance of the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G’s ultra-wide camera in daylight conditions compared to the competition.

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, very wide field of view: fine details preserved
Samsung Galaxy A51 5G, very wide field of view: fine details lost
Nokia 8.3 5G, narrower field of view: some fine details visible

Tele

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

64

133

Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra
Best: Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra (133)

In these tests we analyze all image quality attributes at focal lengths from approximately 40 to 300 mm, paying particular attention to texture and detail. The score is derived from a number of objective measurements in the lab and perceptual analysis of real-life images.

These samples show the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G’s and its competitors’ tele performance outdoors using a close-range zoom setting.

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, close-range zoom
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, crop: low detail and visible noise
Samsung Galaxy A51 5G, close-range zoom
Samsung Galaxy A51 5G, crop: lower detail, noise
Nokia 8.3 5G, close-range zoom
Nokia 8.3 5G, crop: very low detail, noise

Video

In our Video tests we analyze the same image quality attributes as for still images, such as exposure, color, texture or noise, but we also include such temporal aspects as speed, and smoothness and stability of exposure, white balance, and autofocus transitions.

The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G achieves a Video score of 90; in this section, we take a closer look at its sub-scores and compare its video image quality against competitors.

NOTE: Although the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G can record video at 4K resolution, stabilization is not available at this setting. We therefore recorded test samples at 1080p resolution in order to maximize overall video quality.

Exposure and Contrast

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

80

103

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Best: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra (103)

This graph shows the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G’s video exposure measurements in the lab compared to its competitors.

Video exposure comparison: accurate exposure down to 10 lux

Color

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

92

105

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Best: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra (105)

These video stills show the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G’s video color in outdoor light compared to the competition.

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, pleasant color and accurate white balance
Samsung Galaxy A51 5G, pleasant color and accurate white balance
Nokia 8.3 5G, undersaturated color

Autofocus

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

63

105

Huawei Mate 40 Pro
Best: Huawei Mate 40 Pro (105)

This sample clip shows the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G’s video autofocus performance in low light.

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, low-light video: focus losses and pumping are visible.

Texture

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

61

97

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Best: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra (97)

These video samples show the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G’s video texture performance in outdoor conditions.

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, 1080p resolution, loss of detail and unnatural detail rendering
Samsung Galaxy A51 5G, 4K resolution, loss of fine detail
Nokia 8.3 5G, 4K resolution, loss of detail

Noise

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

93

105

Huawei Mate 40 Pro
Best: Huawei Mate 40 Pro (105)

These video stills show the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G’s video noise performance in low light compared to competitors.

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, video noise
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, crop: low-frequency chromatic noise
Samsung Galaxy A51 5G, video noise
Samsung Galaxy A51 5G, crop: strong noise visible
Nokia 8.3 5G, video noise
Nokia 8.3 5G, crop: slight luminance noise

Artifacts

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

66

94

Oppo Find X2 Pro
Best: Oppo Find X2 Pro (94)

For video artifacts, we check for the same kinds of artifacts mentioned in the Photo section, along with such video-specific artifacts as frame rate variation in different light conditions, judder effect, and moving artifacts (artifacts such as aliasing, color quantization, and flare can often be more intrusive when moving than in a still image).

This still from video shows ringing in outdoor conditions.

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, still from video
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, crop: ringing and aliasing

Stabilization

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

85

102

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Best: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra (102)

In these tests we analyze residual motion when handholding the camera during recording, as well as when walking and running with the camera. We also look for stabilization artifacts such as jello effect, sharpness differences between frames, and frame shift (abrupt changes of framing).

These sample clips show the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G’s video stabilization under indoor conditions compared to the competition.

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, residual motion in walking videos
Samsung Galaxy A51 5G, residual motion in walking videos
Nokia 8.3 5G, residual motion in walking videos

DXOMARK invites our readership (you) to post comments on the articles on this website. Read more about our Comment Policy.